Monday, April 8, 2013

The Upside of Down

I had a moment this afternoon that took me right back to the very beginning.
The feelings of helplessness.
The feelings of sheer worry.
The feelings of my hopes and dreams drowning.
The feelings of loneliness.
The feelings of a mama scared to death about the future,
and what it may or may not hold.
We had to go to the hospital for Baker's blood work today.
We sat in the same waiting room, were called to the same business office to chat with Mrs. Charlotte and be branded with the ever familiar hospital bracelet, were carted to another waiting room with the same CourtTV blaring on from the box on the wall, then sat in the same cold, blue recliner in the sterile room smelling of alcohol and adhesive
waiting for the dreaded stick.
And then, it happened.
Baker blew one of those adorable raspberries, fake coughed,
and then laid his head on my shoulder, patted my back,
and let out out a loud breath, a hearty, content exhale.
And that groan, and those love pats, and silly boy sillies,
conveyed in his almost 11 month language,
"It's all good, Mama. This is all good. I'm all good.
Mama, we got this."

And then, I snapped out of it.
We hadn't been there in months and months and months.
In the beginning, it was every couple of days.
I was terrified that would be our new normal.
And if it had, well, that would have been okay, too.
But it isn't.
And I am thankful.
In the beginning, those feelings pervaded.
But now, I think my feelings align with those of most other mamas.
Feelings of pride and joy so intense that I would walk around with "Baker's Mom" plastered to my chest I'm so darn pleased he's mine, and I am his.
Feelings of love, such great love.
I found myself just gazing down at him this weekend.
Thinking about where he was and where he is.
The tears fell as I watched him interact with his toys,
as I watched him pass his cookie from hand to hand,
as I watched him "tap your hand on the green light," over and over in perfect sync with the elicited rhythm of his favorite drum,
as I watched him get frustrated and then get even with that dadblasted crawling thing.
Things that I may have taken for granted if he wasn't made just perfectly him.
He is incredible.
And I know you other mamas and daddies see that in yours too.
Perfectly made.
Every nook and cranny and muscle and bone. 
And those parts, crafted together so beautifully.
And this wee little baby, daily changing into my little boy.
But don't let me fool you, that Baker Bell will always be my baby.
I am a better person, a better mama,
a better friend, a better wife for this journey with Baker.
I find joy in each and every day.
Meredith, you told me I would, and you were right.
I am thankful to find joy in each and every day.
The little and the big and the littles that ever so methodically lead to the big.
I see beauty.
I am often told Baker doesn't look like he has Down Syndrome.
I think that's intended as a compliment,
but I don't mind that he looks like he has Down Syndrome.
He does.
He has the physical characteristics.
And that's ok.
I think children with Down Syndrome are even more beautiful than typical children.
You've seen Baker.
But have you seen our friends Walker or Wren or Ruthie or Ethan?
In every sense of the word.
Maybe, it's because God has given me eyes to see beauty differently.
Or, maybe, God has made children with Down Syndrome specially.
I see the good in others.
I see God's faithfulness played out daily.
I see answered prayers.
I see, and live, and feel strength.
I see life.
I see willfulness.
I see sweetness.
I see love that's infectious.
I see hope.
The Upside of Down.
Up wins.
Up always wins.


  1. A wonderful post. It's interesting how those dark, early days lead us to a place full of light. Perfection, indeed.

  2. Baker has me in his little palms he is so adorable. The funny thing is when I see your pics of him, I don't think DS child. I just think "oh my goodness, what a precious little thing he is. So, this is what I have to look forward to when my twins are this old...". :). Thx for the ISBN.

  3. Jennifer,
    Honestly, I don't know how I stumbled upon your blog...but sweet little Baker has captivated me! I love your writing and what you have to say, and I love seeing Baker..he is PRECIOUS! MORE than precious!!! You are so blessed!!

    I actually live in your same town...I figured this out somehow...I think it was in seeing some pictures of you and some of your friends that I realized this!

    I figured I should quit stalking and come out and tell you I'm a reader *Ü*

    Love your posts!!

    Shannon Willcutt

  4. Ooops...I signed in under the Cookie Mama...meant to sign in under my personal blog!!!

    1. I'm so glad you introduced yourself! Thank you for your sweet words. Blessings!

  5. I see a woderful young woman and a beautiful family. Mumwaaaa